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Increased Visual Acuity Will Not Necessarily Equal an Increased Reading Ability in Patients with Subfoveal Neovascular Macular Degeneration

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DOI: 10.4236/ijcm.2011.24068    4,140 Downloads   6,874 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Reading ability in the elderly means independence, and quality of life. In age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the main deficit is the loss of reading ability. The neovascular form is the leading cause of vision loss in the developed world among people over 50 years of age. With ranibizumab (Lucentis) a drug treatment has become available, but, despite good outcome of visual acuity, patients often report that their reading ability has been affected. We aimed therefor to study reading performance with Tobii Eye Tracker in patients, treated with intravitrial Lucentis. Twenty patients, 15 female and 5 male (range 74 - 98 year), were recruited from St. Erik Eye Hospital. All had, before and after treatment, their reading speed, comprehension, fixations, saccadic eye movements measured while reading two texts with an equal readability rating. For all eye movement parameters, except the number of regressions per word, there was no statistically significant difference when comparing the results from before and after treatment. However, a statistically significant increase in the number of regressions per word after treatment as well as increased visual acuity and comprehension, were found. Reading is fundamental in our society and should be tested in order to fully understand a patient’s complaints; however, an increased VA will not necessarily equal an increased reading ability. The results also show that the Tobii system is suitable for evaluation of reading performance in a clinical setting, and can together with other tests, give valuable information about the patients complains and the outcome of a treatment.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

F. Källmark, A. Kvanta, G. Öqvist and R. Brautaset, "Increased Visual Acuity Will Not Necessarily Equal an Increased Reading Ability in Patients with Subfoveal Neovascular Macular Degeneration," International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2011, pp. 404-410. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2011.24068.

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